Niger Attack Lays Bare US Troops' Long Wait for Medical Help in Africa

The miss of assistance called into doubt either a American infantry is providing adequate resources for infantry endeavour dangerous missions in Africa. The immeasurable remote stretches in that American Special Forces work are inherently dangerous since of their inaccessibility and are gainful to ambushes, pronounced Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc, who until Jun ordered Special Operations army on a continent.


Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc, who until Jun ordered Special Operations army in Africa, pronounced a immeasurable remote stretches in that American Special Forces work are inherently dangerous since of their inaccessibility and are gainful to ambushes.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

“It’s not a finish of a earth, though we can see it from there,” he said. “It’s tough, tough things to work in.”

Had a American Special Forces been in Iraq or Afghanistan, American or associated aircraft and medical depletion helicopters would have been mins divided — a outcome of knowledge from dual prolonged wars and strait skeleton tested by American bleeding and dead.

The Pentagon shielded a joining to a golden hour opposite a globe.

“The dialect puts immeasurable resources opposite that problem,” Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., a executive of a military’s Joint Staff, told reporters final week. “It is one of a primary considerations for any geographic conflicting commander.”

He added, “Whenever possible, we find to grasp that goal.”

But a military’s Africa Command asked lawmakers broadly for some-more assistance months before a conflict in Niger, a West African republic scarcely twice a distance of Texas.

“Africa lacks a museum placement network to support a forces,” a authority pronounced in a matter to a Senate Armed Services Committee in March, observant it has about 1,000 infantry handling opposite a nine-nation segment of West Africa. “This capability opening army a crew to return to dear and ineffectual ad hoc solutions.”

American commandos deployed to a segment have joked darkly that their command’s inability to get them out of harm’s approach has boiled down to one directive: Do not get hurt. A Special Operations Forces member who had deployed to Central Africa recently and oversaw formulation for medical depletion procedures for his section pronounced that if anyone on his group was wounded, they could ideally count on being evacuated in 10 hours. Other infantry officials pronounced that a existence was that a waits for assistance were “multiples” of a one-hour idea in active fight zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

General Bolduc pronounced that when he took authority some-more than dual years ago, many American infantry on a continent were handling in such remote locations that they fell good outward even that stretched time support for puncture medical evacuation, job a military’s depletion capabilities during a time “immature.”


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Some troops, however, disagree that a golden hour is impractical for chosen army deployed distant afield and in some cases prevents them from carrying out some-more risky, though important, missions.

“You’re never going to have a golden hour in Africa; it’s not possible,” General Bolduc pronounced in a write interview. “But we have an excusable volume of time that commanders have concluded on.”

For confidence reasons, he would not divulge a time support in Africa.

In a past, Africa Command has pronounced that it relies heavily on agreement search-and-rescue aircraft and that African partners “lack a capability and ability to support with crew liberation missions.”

Working closely with his aloft domicile during Africa Command as good as with a Air Force and such unfamiliar partners as a French, General Bolduc pronounced he was means to boost atmosphere and belligerent medical resources, including accessible aircraft, and left an “acceptable” puncture depletion response in place by a time he over over a summer.

General Bolduc pronounced he was not astounded about a antagonistic activity in southwest Niger, about 120 miles north of Niamey, a capital. He pronounced a militants’ attack might be a pointer of a increasing efficacy of Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and adjacent nations to confront a Qaeda hazard in a segment that combined several factions into one this year.

The ubiquitous pronounced he did not know sum of final week’s ambush, though that formed on his knowledge he would design a review to inspect several areas, including a team’s communications, logistics and medical depletion plans, and either protocols were being followed for an advise-and-assist goal in that a Nigeriens were in a lead.

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